How to Start a Podcast?

Chris Michael Harris, Executive Producer


In today’s episode, I’m going to tell you how to start your podcast the right way.

For some context, I’ve been podcasting for about five years. The first four I spent just doing audio and then just last year, I included a video. So let’s go ahead and talk about some basic things you need to know.

#1 Deciding if it’s an audio or a video show

There are a lot more complexities with doing a video podcast. However, there are a lot of benefits with a video podcast. A lot of people resonate more with our show when they can see my face when they can see the faces of my guests. 

YouTube is a great platform for search, meaning people are looking for a specific topic but nothing builds superfans, quite like a podcast. Just know there are some setbacks to the lack of discoverability. 

Whatever your strategy is going to be involved with your podcast, I’d recommend you’re at least on one search platform, whether it’s a blog, on YouTube or Pinterest. Continue following your work with your podcast, joining your email list, and turn potential listeners into customers. 


#2 Types of equipment to use


Let’s talk about the audio part first—Rode NT, Shure SM58, and Audio Technica. You can’t go wrong with any three of those brands at any price point. They’re very good devices that may come down for you to USB versus XLR. 

The cable that’s coming from the microphone is an XLR cable and you can’t plug directly into my computer with that, but I can plug directly in if it was a USB microphone. The cord that transmits your signal, XLR, is higher quality. USB is a little bit more practical and convenient. 

If you have something like the SM58, it’s a traditional-looking microphone, you can just pack it away in a bag, and you can record from wherever.

The Shure products and XLRs, have a recording device, whether that’s one of the portable ones like a Zoom H4N or an H6N or a Rode Caster Pro. So an added step having to go from here into that before you go to a computer, your processing device. 

#3 Doing a video podcast

You can use a DSLR camera and you can go direct it with an HDMI cord into your processing device. When I’m doing a remote interview, I can use it as a webcam on zoom—any of the ones that allow for video. Zen Castors and Squadcast are others that allow you to record high-quality audio remote. 

I recommend you to start with Squadcast. And as far as audio is concerned, it is probably top of the line. All you need is your microphone. If you’re going to do a video, you just put a camera in front of you.

Don’t worry about the HDMI aspect. And for all intents and purposes, you’d probably be great. I am using Canon cameras, you can get for $500-$600. 

When I started doing video, I just used my phone, and I just put it on a tripod, put that right in front of me, and I was good to go. You can also use something like a Webcam Brio by Logitech

Photo by Isaac Smith on Unsplash

#4 Where to host your show

Figure out whether you’re doing interviews or solo shows, and whether you’re going to do an audio or a video combination podcast.

I recommend you to use Libsyn. It distributes to more podcast players in any of the hosts that are out there that exist. It’s a little bit more costly, but there are some free options out there. But from my experience has been positive.

So, sign up for a Libsyn account. Start uploading your first five right out of the gates. So that if someone discovers your show, they can binge and they can decide if they want to subscribe, or if they want to pass on your specific show. 

There are a few like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Pandora that you’re going to have to submit externally. You’re just going to search how to submit your podcast, provide a link, information, and your classic RSS feed to be able to find that inside of Libsyn, if not Libsyn support can help you find that. 

Your thumbnail already is included with your Libsyn account. So you’ll be able to see it’ll give you recommendations for what your thumbnail will look like. And that’ll automatically push to all of the podcast players. 

There different tiers of pricing. So you get a certain amount of storage on Libsyn per month, choose however much the frequency of your show is going to be involved and pick whatever is going to work for you.

Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

#5 Create Amazing Thumbnails

I recommend Canva for creating your thumbnail.  There is a free and pro version. So, find a couple of podcasts that you like, Canva have some templates in there that you can select from. Choose the thumbnail’s actual dimensions that you need.

When creating thumbnails, use specific colors, use high-resolution images, use text, and be legible. And if you don’t feel comfortable doing that. You can go to someplace like Fiverr and pay somebody to design one for you. 

That’s the next part of my advice. So I would even go to Fiverr while you’re there and get somebody that does voiceover talent. You can hire somebody for $15 to $30. And what they’ll do is create a nice little intro or an outro for your show. 

You can select a little sound byte from Fiverr and Epidemic Sound. You’re going to pay for the rights to use that music up to a certain point. Make sure that it’s commercial-grade.

#6 Use social media to your advantage

Use social media to drive people to your show. To build your listenership, you can break down parts of your episode. You create one episode that’s 45 minutes long.

You can break down a lot of clips into micro-content that you can repurpose on social media. So that way, if you talk about certain specific things, people know what you’re talking about.

You can tease that content and get people over to the platform to specifically listen to your content. 

Also, I would recommend getting as many subscribers, whether it’s from family and friends. And do that reviews, subscribers, and downloads early. The first eight weeks of a podcast are very important. It’s how you get into new and noteworthy. Create as much buzz as you can early on to build as many viewers as you can. 

So overall, I wish you guys nothing but the best. Keep grinding and keep plugging away with it. If you have any questions, make sure to drop those in the comments below. 

I look forward to seeing you guys in the next episode.



join the 7-day reading challenge!


get my 2020 must read list

snag my ultimate startup checklist

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!